Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Note-FX

Creating Melodies with Bitwig Studio 4.2: Note Grid and NoteFX Tools

Tutorial | Mar 02, 2022

I'm here to show you how to use the new Note Grid and NoteFX tools in Bitwig Studio 4.2 to create a melody maker. I demonstrate how to set up a repeater, step mod, sample and hold, and a quantizer to create a random melody generator. I also show you a chord generator I created called the Circle of Fifths, and how to use it with the pitch quantize to create melodies that stay in scale. I provide a preset in the description below so you can follow along and have some fun creating your own melodies.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is the Note Grid in Bitwig Studio 4.2?

The Note Grid in Bitwig Studio 4.2 is a powerful new addition to the program that enables users to manipulate and create melodies with ease. It utilizes a note clip, transpose module, step mod, sample and hold, and a quantizer to easily create and modulate melodies. It also comes with new NoteFX tools and a circle of fifths tool to create even more intricate melodies.

What is the difference between painting notes directly into the piano roll and using the Note Grid?

Painting notes directly into the piano roll requires more knowledge of music theory and composition, as the user has to manually construct the melody and chords. The Note Grid, on the other hand, uses the note clip, transpose module, step mod, sample and hold, and a quantizer to generate melodies and rhythms automatically, making it easier and more accessible for those who are new to music production.

How can I create a melody generator with the Note Grid?

To create a melody generator with the Note Grid, you can use the note clip, transpose module, step mod, sample and hold, and a quantizer.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Hey guys, welcome back to another video. Today it's about the new additions in Bitwig Studio
[00:17.120] 4.2, the Note Grid and some of the recent additions, the NoteFX tools and how you can create
[00:23.520] some kind of, yeah, melody maker for Bitwig Studio. And just to take the heat off from some
[00:28.880] of the people, it's not actually a replacement for making a real melody in the piano role and
[00:34.320] playing on the piano and writing a song. It's just a fun way of doing melodies, experimenting
[00:40.720] a bit, trying out these new tools in Bitwig Studio, you know, just having fun with the modulation
[00:46.320] system and stuff like this. And I enjoy doing this. So if you want to, you can join me on this
[00:52.560] journey in this video and rebuild it from scratch, or you can download in the description below,
[00:57.760] there's also a reset for you, ready. And I show you also the new circle of fifth tool I built for
[01:05.760] some quads. It's not really finished, but I show it how I use it in this video. So have some fun
[01:12.240] and let's start the video. So to start this pretty simple, we just add here one synthesizer and I
[01:19.680] use polycenter here for by Bitwig and also use a BST of course, it's not limited to Bitwig devices.
[01:25.920] And I add some reverb here and a bit of delay and maybe also one of the new chorus devices here.
[01:38.000] And we can use this as a sound source. So to create a melody,
[01:48.240] we usually use a note clip and we still need a note clip. And but just instead of painting in
[01:57.200] your all the melody notes, we just paint in one, one long note on the root note here, which is
[02:06.160] the sharp for me. Okay, of course. And then we start by hitting play and you can hear it's just one
[02:14.640] note. So nothing special, right? We use a repeater, note repeats with just the sects or cuts up
[02:26.640] this one long note into multiple single gates, gate triggers. If you don't like this interface,
[02:46.320] then you can switch it to a clip mode and then you have this this kind of view here where you can
[02:51.760] rotate this around and change how many notes you have in your sequence and something like this.
[02:57.840] But for me, it's, you know, I just use this here. And for the second thing I use
[03:09.520] to change the pitch actually, I think the note clip is pretty nice and I show you in a minute why.
[03:15.440] So the note clip offers basically a way to manipulate here, gate, pitch, velocity and so on.
[03:26.160] And for now, we just use a transpose module here, go with the pitch in, go with the pitch out,
[03:35.440] and then we can modulate this here with a step mod. And of course, you can save this as a preset
[03:43.120] for the next time you want to create some melodies, right? So it's not like that you have to build
[03:49.280] this every time. And with the step mod here, we can hit this, this small little randomize button,
[03:57.360] which is nice. And this one modulates then our transpose here. We can also switch this here
[04:03.120] to bipolar mode. So we get also negative values. We also pitch down not only up,
[04:09.360] so you can decide if all you want to create your melody, you can also stay, but only positive values
[04:15.120] and only go melody up and down back to the root. But now I just choose this here. And I also go
[04:23.440] for a slower speed, so we have a melody going over two bars instead of just one bar. And I modulate
[04:32.960] here by maybe seven or maybe 12, which is a whole octave. We have now two octaves, one octave up
[04:41.280] and one octave down. Let me type in your 12. And every time you press this randomize button,
[04:53.280] you get a different melody, of course. So we have now two problems. The first problem is it's not
[05:04.880] in scale, it's not diatonic. I would just probably be okay if you don't want to. You can dial
[05:12.480] here each bar in, so it fits your needs. And the second problem is that the pitch changes while
[05:23.200] an voice is active or when a gate signal is high. So we don't want to change the pitch, we want
[05:29.200] to have a static pitch for each plate gate. And we can do this of course here with the sample and hold.
[05:36.640] So we hold the pitch as long as the gate is active. So each trigger, each note gets its own pitch
[05:45.680] without changing the pitch while the note is playing. Yeah. And then we can introduce here
[06:00.720] this quantizer. And I started on D sharp here, so I dial in D sharp minor pentatonic, which is
[06:10.560] nice for melodies, of course. And yeah, now we have a scale and it doesn't matter what kind of
[06:19.040] value you dial in here with the bars. You still land on D sharp minor here. So this is okay
[06:35.760] so far. But now we want to change also here the melody rhythm. It's not the points and we can do
[06:42.000] this with the step mode here. And we want to change only upwards. So we have here 16th notes.
[06:52.560] And we only want to change upwards. So in Dalia and maybe just one. So now we change the rhythm
[07:16.320] of the playback order of the repeats here, which gives us interesting patterns.
[07:20.720] And in between that, we hook up here a quantizer. It basically just delays the triggers
[07:28.480] or the gates. So every trigger lands on a 16th note. And this one sounds like this.
[07:53.120] Okay, so when you press this button, this randomize button, you change randomly,
[08:00.080] you have the groove of the melody. And when you press this randomize button here,
[08:05.840] you change the pitches or the actual notes random per random. So we have basically a random
[08:14.160] melody maker. And also the pitch persists, indicate or the rhythm persists throughout your
[08:20.480] two bars. So it's every time the same. But every time you press the randomize button,
[08:24.880] you get the new melody and a new groove.
[08:36.400] We can also slow this down. Maybe so we have a pitch or a rhythm change over the cause of two bars.
[09:07.120] So and you can put this here in the pre-fx box in the quantizer also after this.
[09:19.440] And then you have a neat little small device that you can call a melody generator.
[09:27.440] And can save it as a preset. Maybe bring in some macro controls over here if you want to.
[09:35.280] And I think it's not possible to get these. Well, you can maybe put these over here.
[09:48.960] So we have this one here, which is the melody.
[09:57.840] Or just call it pitch pitches. This one you can call gates.
[10:13.440] So you can change the pitch randomization and gate randomization in front of this device here.
[10:22.160] You can save it as a preset.
[10:31.280] I have multiple melody generators already. That's why I use here in parenthesis.
[10:37.600] There you have it, small little melody generator.
[11:08.080] Okay, so let's go a step further.
[11:14.880] And maybe I show you my device I created, which is a circle, you see, circle of fifth.
[11:27.840] Luckily. So this one is basically also no generator. And I'm using here also polysens. We can hear what's
[11:35.840] going on. Use some rework on this.
[11:47.200] Should be fine.
[11:51.360] This one basically just lacks an interface. So I try to create one here, like this.
[11:57.200] And you have all the chords here from the circle of fifths, also here minor and major chords.
[12:08.240] I also made it so that you can dial in your base one, base two, which is just one octave or two,
[12:14.080] octave slower. We have some wrapping here. So the notes are constrained to a certain range.
[12:21.360] And then seventh and at nine here for nice, yeah, nice chord shapes.
[12:28.800] And what we can do is, I actually, I didn't want to close this. I have to open this up here.
[12:40.000] I really hope we get some interface stuff here in some of the next updates. It would be really nice.
[12:45.920] So what I can do now is, I can play.
[13:01.040] Okay, so let's record something. Maybe I should use here an instrument track.
[13:08.080] Like this one.
[13:39.040] So this could be a nice chord progression here. Let me see here.
[13:49.760] Let's make it really simple.
[13:53.920] Let me use legato. Okay.
[13:57.920] Now we can switch here this off.
[13:59.760] And choose this one on this track.
[14:29.760] or this chords.
[14:59.760] So now we have the problem that some of these quads are not in scale to our melody.
[15:06.320] But inside here we use pitch quantize and we can switch this pitch quantize to use note input
[15:13.280] on the left side. And we can use as an input here our quads now.
[15:19.600] And all these quads are playing are basically saying to this transpose here,
[15:24.800] please pitch quantize to these current notes. So we get now a melody that is
[15:30.240] or playing only the notes that we have in here at a certain point in time.
[15:36.480] So just let me close this here.
[15:38.560] And now we can play this melody and it should be sound okay.
[16:08.560] So I need to do now as maybe add here some 80 strums.
[16:39.280] Let me see here.
[16:42.160] Vendrum.
[16:56.560] I think I'm a bit too reberped.
[16:58.720] Okay, should be fine for now. It's just an example.
[17:58.720] Maybe 12 is too much. Maybe I go down to 7 here.
[19:28.880] Okay.
[19:35.280] So this is basically a way of creating melodies without creating a melody.
[19:40.400] And you click here basically to randomize buttons all the time and maybe you figure out
[19:45.520] a nice melody you can also step in here and correct some of these bars a little bit.
[19:50.560] So it fits more like a melody you like.
[19:54.320] But you can see if you just save this here as a preset and recall it every time it's
[20:01.360] basically an instant thing that brings you up to speed or maybe to a new idea.
[20:08.560] And maybe sometimes you just want to try out certain sounds with some melodies without creating a melody.
[20:16.080] And yeah, this chord generator here I showed you earlier is probably also available pretty soon
[20:26.080] on my Patreon. Maybe I get it into the release of Bitwig Studio 4.## I don't know if it's possible.
[20:34.640] But I want to release this of course. It needs a bit of work.
[20:39.520] But I think it's also a nice preset to share.
[20:43.040] Thanks for watching the video. Please leave a like if you liked the video and you can download
[20:47.840] the preset in the description below. Have some fun with it and leave me a comment if you have
[20:52.480] some questions of course in the SCU in the next video. Thanks for watching and bye.